Between having your data abused to increasing your online risk profile, there are many reasons why you might want to consider deleting your Facebook account. Since Facebook today provides so many options, it can be a real pain to find something it doesn’t want you to.
Immediately Deleting Your Facebook Account
Permanently deleting your Facebook account may be somewhat extreme, but it isn’t difficult for the determined. The process is pretty straightforward; you just need to follow the proper steps;
- Click on the “Account” icon on the top right corner of your Facebook page. It should look like a small upside-down triangle.
- On the menu that opens, select “Settings & Privacy,” followed by “Settings.”
- Click the “Your Facebook Information” option on the left-hand navigation menu.
- Click the “View” link next to “Deactivation and Deletion.”
- Select the “Delete Account” option, then click the “Continue to Account Deletion” button.
- On the next page, click the “Delete Account” button. You will then have to enter your Facebook password.
What Happens When You Delete Your Facebook Account
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you will have permanently deleted your Facebook account. However, there are some things of which you need to be aware. Although you’ve gone through the motions, it isn’t like on your personal computer where things are quickly gone.
Facebook takes around a month to delete information permanently. Within that period, you can still reactivate your account. Think of it like the recycle bin on your device. There is no way to remove your Facebook data RIGHT NOW (as in, immediately).
In addition, not everything will be gone entirely. Facebook only deletes things that have been shared on your profile directly. If you’ve shared a photo or information on another user’s page or group, that will remain.
Facebook also retains log data forever, but that’s of little concern since it won’t be associated with your personal information.
Why Delete Your Facebook Account
Facebook today is a massive company whose almost entire revenue comes from advertising. If it weren’t for their user base, their entire business model would likely collapse. Because of that, the more people who are using their “free service,” the better it is for them.
Making money off the back of people’s data isn’t unique to Facebook. Many companies, including Google, do that. Facebook, however, has a less than stellar history of how it behaves with user data. There are also lots of other reasons why you might want to delete your Facebook account;
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, is somewhat of a loose cannon regarding his approach to user privacy. One statement he made brings this to the fore; “You can be unethical and still legal.” Still, in private business, being a respectable businessman isn’t a criterion for success. It sucks for Facebook users, though.
Facebook is constantly amending its terms of service regarding user privacy and how it utilizes and shares your data. It is a nightmare to keep track of and something that many tend to ignore. That essentially means most Facebook users have no idea how the company is profiting off everything they share.
Large amounts of data are stolen from Facebook and have happened on multiple occasions. Hackers stole data from over 267 million Facebook profiles in 2020, then sold it on the dark web. Do you want that to happen to your kids?
For such a large tech company, Facebook is interestingly incompetent in digital security. Associated companies used the platform to stream user data through a loophole in Facebook’s system. The Cambridge Analytica scandal saw the data ultimately used for political advertising.
You have few rights where privacy is concerned. While companies are typically free to dictate this, Facebook takes this to new heights since it depends on your data for most of its revenue. Advertisers pay a premium for targeted ads, and knowing everything about you helps Facebook sell more of those.
Facebook loves to share, and it especially loves to share your information with associated apps. While that helps make it appealing to developers and companies that work with the platform, it means you lose more control over who accesses your data.
To be honest, Facebook is just one of a sea of companies today abusing user data. Everywhere we travel in the digital space, we’re bombarded by a constant stream of advertising, from the legitimate to outright scams.
The problem with advertising is that most companies that sell these ads don’t care much about the content (unless forced by law). That’s why companies like Facebook are grabbing and using data like it’s going out of fashion.
If you still aren’t convinced, download a copy of the data that Facebook has on you and take a look. You might be shocked at what you find.